Alliant Virtual Café

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Welcome to Our Virtual Community

Through the Alliant Virtual Café, we will be supporting our communities, offering the expertise of our faculty, and providing connection and guidance. Not only will we learn how to cope with our new normal, we will look to thrive through the adversity, and begin our journey toward psychological recovery after enduring a once-in-a-lifetime global health crisis. We will get through this together.

Andy Vaughn, President of Alliant International University

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student watching webinars
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Virtual Café Sessions


The Alliant Virtual Café is a place for us to gather and support each other during these trying and uncertain times. We are holding sessions with experts on topics such as Emotional Contagion, Talking to Your kids About a Pandemic, and Coping with Cabin Fever for Couples and Families. See recordings of the sessions below.

Harnessing Emotional Contagion

Talking to Kids about COVID-19

Coping with Cabin Fever for Couples and Families

UPCOMING: When Home Becomes School: Educating Children During COVID-19

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Resources


Working from home, dealing with financial uncertainty, keeping children entertained and engaged in learning— these are areas for which many of us can use additional support. We have compiled resource links to help guide us through these unique challenges.

Managing Your Mental Health During COVID-19 

Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting From COVID-19

Effective Remote Working

Coronavirus Stimulus Checks, Debt Relief, and Your Finances

COVID-19 Self Care: Tips From the World Health Organization

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alliant student resources
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Frequently Asked Questions


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  • How do I best handle cabin fever with my family?

    The biggest keys for handling cabin fever with your family are relaxing expectations, focusing on building relationships, and preserving daily alone time for everyone. As much as possible, use this time to reconnect with each other. Have connection take priority over schoolwork, sticking to a strict routine, or any rigorous schedule that brings stress.

    Answer provided by Dr. Sean Davis

  • How can I strengthen my relationship with my partner while we are quarantined together?

    Doing the same thing over and over can become stifling, so use the time to come up with new routines. Go on a walk together in the morning, play cards at night, take turns watching the kids – if it’s different, give it a shot! Boredom and routine are the enemy of love when under shelter-in-place orders. Find question online you can ask your spouse to deepen your relationship (I like John Gottman’s Love Map questions: https://www.integralpsychology.org/uploads/1/5/3/0/15300482/wkbk_2.pdf). And be sure to take time away from each other!

    Answer provided by Dr. Sean Davis

  • What can I do is my partner is driving me insane and I can’t even get space from them?

    Take it! Don’t be afraid to ask for some alone time, and don’t be offended when your partner requests it. It is important during this time that everyone finds some regular alone time. Wanting some time to yourself doesn’t mean your relationship is broken, but not taking time to yourself can end up doing real damage. Agree to give each other as much alone time as possible in a room, in your car, or on a socially distant walk.  

    Answer provided by Dr. Sean Davis

  • How can I best avoid panic and anxiety in this time?

    Panic and anxiety are normal human reactions during times of uncertainty, and given the unusual nature of the COVID-19 pandemic -- both in terms of its duration and its severity --many of us will experience amplified reactions at some point as we progress through this event. 

    Psychology offers several insights into managing these difficult and uncomfortable emotional states.  First, it is important to recognize that panic and anxiety are contagious.  Excessive exposure to others who are in heightened states, or to media that are focused upon the most challenging elements of the current situation, can amplify our own experiences of angst.  Research has shown that viewing another in a state of distress activates the regions in our brains associated with experiencing distress ourselves.  Recognizing our susceptibility to "catch" others affective responses can help guide us to seek out those who are experiencing calmer states or to "unplug" at regular intervals.  Engaging in good self-care practices -- ensuring we have proper nutrition, adequate rest, engage in regular exercise -- also builds the resilience that supports emotional balance.  Remembering that our affective states can be regulated by pausing, breathing, and -- in particular -- cognitively and emotionally reconnecting to those elements of life that have purpose and meaning for us is also vital to regaining a sense of control.  Perhaps as important, we can embrace contagion dynamics and -- when in a fortified and positive emotional state -- reach out to others who might be experiencing anxiety and panic themselves, knowing that contagion works both ways, and we can positively impact those around us, thereby elevating our collective experience while, together, we navigate the challenges this time.

    Answer provided by Dr. Diana Concannon

  • How can I support my friends and family through grief from a distance?

    Grieving one we have loved is a deeply painful, varied, and primitive experience at any time.  As with so much else, the current pandemic can heighten and complicate the grieving process. 

    Travel restrictions and social distancing may prohibit traditional mourning rituals. Twenty-four news cycles that tally death tolls are a constant reminder of loss. Physical separation from those with whom we would seek comfort can magnify the absence of one whose presence we cherished.  Particularly during this time, frequent, consistent check-ins with anyone who has lost a loved one is vital to healing.  Whether telephonically or through some other technology, connect and listen – whether they want to speak about the loved one or any other aspect of their current life.  If proximate to their location, or able to arrange delivery of care packages, send basic items that could provide comfort – whether food or books or paper goods.  Gently inquire about daily habits to ensure that they are getting proper nutrition and rest, particularly if living alone. And, if you come to believe that they might need additional support during this time, research resources on their behalf that are consistent with their values, such as population-specific virtual bereavement groups or one of the many mental health professionals currently offering telemental health services.

    We have all experienced some level of loss – even if only in the way in which we have traditionally lived our daily lives.  By reaching out, we have the opportunity to transform our own experience of loss, and positively impact those who are grieving and need us. 

    Answer provided by Dr. Diana Concannon

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Ask an Expert


We have some of the nation’s leading experts and community leaders in psychology and education who are willing to lend their expertise and support during this time. You can ask them anything— from “How do I cope with cabin fever?” to “How do I ensure my children are still getting a quality education from home?” Just submit your questions and we will post the answers and guidance from our experts below. We are in this together.

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